Stitch Exchange: Let's Sew an Endless Summer Tunic out of Knit Jersey

Posted by AVFKW Staff on May 01, 2014 1 Comment


Summer is a great time to start sewing with knits. Kristine recently did a "Chanified" version of our Endless Summer Tunic. For those of you who are not familiar with Alabama Chanin, it is 100% hand stitched clothing that we at Verb love! We coined the term "Chanified" and use it when talking about clothing that we have made out of patterns outside the repertoire of Alabama Chanin patterns, though still employing the Alabama Chanin style: the use of their organic cotton jersey in addition to their technique of hand-sewn garment construction with embroidered details.

Kristine started with white medium weight white jersey and dipped it in the indigo vat and then sewed it up by hand. She used flat felled seams for the center front, center back and the side seams, she left the v-neck and the hem raw so that they curl under a little, she hand dyed the floss she used to sew the tunic and she resist-dyed the yoke lining so there is a fancy surprise on the inside! Kristine also decided to take the bias edging all the way around the arm opening and the neckline of the yoke instead of sewing it up with the seam allowances inside. This is a great option and adds lovely detail to the garment.

Kristine usually wears the 39" bust size in our pattern, but for the jersey she dropped down to a 37" bust because of the extra stretch the knit provides. The tunic came out looking really lovely and I'm exited to see people playing with the pattern! 

With a few things taken into consideration, I think the pattern translates well to a knit. Kristine left off the pockets, which I think was smart. Here at Verb we are all big fans of pockets and the Alabama jersey is probably sturdy enough to support having them, however I would put some reinforcement in the side seam if you are going to try it. If you are thinking of doing the pattern as written and working on a sewing machine (as opposed to a serger) special care should be taken with grading your seams. Specifically on the inside of the yoke. Knits can oft times be more bulky than woven fabrics and so taking care to trim internal seams will make your finished garment look much more professional. 

Other ideas for fun projects from knits include the new Colette patterns Mabel and Moneta, some lightweight leggings or knocking off your favorite summer tank from last year in a new fabric! We plan on making some of the above in the next few weeks as our participation in Me-Made-May 2014.

For our First Friday Fabric Sale this month we are offering 20% off all knit fabric! We wanted to continue to celebrate our selection of Alabama Chanin 100% organic cotton jersey, our new Liberty of London knits, and the lovely selection of printed summer knits we have.

Happy Sewing!


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The making of The Endless Summer Tunic Pattern

Posted by AVFKW Staff on April 07, 2014 0 Comments

This past week we released our first sewing pattern, The Endless Summer Tunic. It is currently available on our website as a pdf download. It's a simple and elegant number with a flattering v-neck and optional pockets.

The pattern itself has been rolling about in Kristine's mind, ready to spring forth. However, she knew that it would need to be graded for different sizes and since pattern drafting is not one of Kristine's strong points, she let the idea rest.  Only a couple of months ago she received a cheerful note from a pattern drafter hoping to work with her. Jumping at the opportunity, Kristine told the woman she had many ideas but very little time to execute all of them.

They met and shared these ideas of lines, lengths, and design elements leading Kristine to commit to one pattern with her. They sketched ideas out on paper, made muslins, and tried them on. After deciding on a pattern, Kristine chose fabrics for samples. When the sewn samples came back, Kristine danced with excitement. Her dream had come true and she now had a sewing pattern design she could recommend for the fabrics she carries at the shop. It is our pleasure to announce we have hired that pattern drafter for more projects. Her name is Tasa Gleason and has experience drafting patterns of all types. We look forward to many more patterns that will inspire folks to sew their own clothing.

Of course after the physical pattern has been made it then needs to be made accessible: to be drawn out on paper, sized up, and expressed in words. When this part was finished, it came to my desk to be put into production for print.  Thankfully digital publishing allows the pdf version to be accessible much sooner than the printed one. As I write this I have our local printer creating proofs for me to review. After I see the printed proofs in person, I will then order a specific quantity to be put up for sale.  

Somehow this all happens while Kristine does dye tests and writes for her book, Stitches West flies by, we continue our participation with The Possible at the Berkeley Art Museum, and teach an indigo workshop at the UC Botanical Garden.  Not to mention playing host to visiting teachers, various workshops, and news articles.

I'm not quite sure there was a time when we have ever been this busy. The energy that surrounds the store is lively and dynamic. Every day we work on a multitude of projects behind the scenes (and other times, not-so-behind the scenes) at the shop. It is with a great sense of achievement we release a pattern that is worthy of our hard work. We hope you enjoy it and know that all our work is in thanks to your support.




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